Review is also posted on: Thoughts and Pens
Just when I thought that I had found another gem, I was immediately struck with disappointment. Me, Cinderella, a supposedly re-telling of our beloved fairy tale, was not able to extricate itself from the throngs of arbitrarily written fairy tale renditions. To put it simply, I was sorely upset with this book. At some point, it had entertained me but most of the time, the overall story seemed inadequate.
Set in the quaint city of Budapest, Me, Cinderella managed to keep me interested as far as setting goes. The snowy Budapest definitely suited for Brynn and Eliot’s love story to unfold. However, the setting alone isn’t enough to make me a satisfied reader.
Because Me, Cinderella is a rendition of a beloved fairy tale, I have truly expected that the author would take a careful route in telling the story… something in the lines of weaving fresh and powerful moments that would render me immobile for a minute or two. But that didn’t happen. Instead, I couldn’t help coming to a decision that I was better off re-reading my worn out copy of Cinderella. Me, Cinderella’s plot was certainly simplistic with no magical moments to root for.
It also didn’t help that the romance was done crudely. Me, Cinderella also suffered the dreaded instalove. Brynn, our heroine, suddenly fell head over heels in love with Eliot after 2-3 meetings. But their love took a ridiculous amount of time to be resolved completely. I am not even sure if that’s the right statement. All I know is that our two leads fell in love with each other after a few meetings but because of some petty issues, it took them around 2 years to finally be together. Take note though that before they became a couple, I rarely see them interacting with each other. This might be the reason why I didn’t feel the buildup of their feelings over time. The author just narrated in a hurried way that blah blah years have passed and yet, the two leads still harbor the love they had for each other.
Me, Cinderella’s plot was clearly driven by the repetitive issues our characters have. Brynn, another Mary Sue candidate, is a mathematical genius who for some “apparent reason” chose to stay away from boys because she’s socially awkward with no self-esteem and is suffering from an emotional trauma. I don’t have to explain more, just imagine Mary Sue’s attributes and you’ll get the picture. Then our male lead, Eliot, is a widowed man who, after ten years, is still blaming himself for the death of his wife. He fell inlove with our Mary Sue but keeps pushing her away because he still can’t move on. Mind you, the whole story reached 177 pages with Eliot having a pity party while Mary Sue can’t decide whether to pursue him or not.
I can basically summarize the whole story into four sentences.
Leads fell in love with each other.
Eliot: I couldn’t love her. I haven’t yet moved on after my wife’s death ten years ago. What if I get hurt again? What if I also hurt her? (Man the hell up and move on, Eliot Idiot!)
Brynn: I would never be good enough for him. I am just a dumb student. I must get away from him. But hell no, I love him. But still, I have to stay away from him. He’s always rejecting me even if we kissed already.
And after throwing in some plot device…
They lived happily ever after. Whatever.
Rinse and repeat items 2 and 3.
The only reason that the plot reached 177-pages was that our characters are so crazily immersed in their own woes. I just want to shake them…to tell them to kiss each other and be done with the drama of their lives. Heck, I am so frustrated that this review is already incoherent.
Me, Cinderella’s pacing was definitely fast but not in a good way. There were times that I found myself somewhat stumped as events took a sudden turn without the necessary transition. *rubs chin*
As if things couldn’t get any worse, the story ended leaving a lot of loose ends unwrapped. And I was surprised to see that the book is afterall groomed to be a series. Those loose ends might be wrapped up in the next book which I wouldn’t read. The funny thing is, I cannot quite fathom the author’s logic in creating a sequel when she could have told the whole story in one book. She could have made this as an excellent standalone by wrapping everything with a flourish. Me, Cinderella is so simplistic that I couldn’t see any worthwhile avenue the author might explore on the next book. I have this nagging trepidation that the next book would just be a long-winded narration of how Brynn and Eliot will fight (due to their never ending issues), then make up, and then fight again.
Verdict: I’m gonna stick to the original version of Cinderella.
1 star- For the beautiful setting.
Another star- It’s not the worst rendition I’ve read.